Awards are now being offered to US citizens who are currently studying and teaching the Irish language in the United States which will enable them to participate in Irish language courses in Ireland’s Irish speaking regions during the summer.

The awards will allow thirty students to study Irish in Ireland for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of six weeks with tuition and accommodation directly paid to the course provider by the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange. Successful candidates will be responsible for their own travel and living costs.

Last year, the thirty successful awardees came from diverse backgrounds, including Indiana, Montana, Connecticut, and Texas and studied at the following courses:

- Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain, NUI Galway, Carraroe, Galway

- NUI Galway, International Summer School

- Oideas Gael, Glencolmcille, Donegal

- Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, Ballyferriter, Kerry

One lucky candidate has said "The Irish Language Summer Award gave me an opportunity that I thought I would never have the chance to experience...this award allowed me to spend an entire month speaking the language and meeting people with whom I can continue speaking Irish."

Commenting on the awards, the Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish language, Dinny McGinley T.D. said “I am very pleased that the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht is working in partnership with the Fulbright Commission to promote greater knowledge and use of the Irish language throughout the US. The Gaeltacht Summer Awards Scheme is an innovative and worthwhile initiative that is mutually beneficial to the awardees and to the Gaeltacht.

"It is instrumental in forming bonds of friendship and a lifelong interest and understanding of the rich language and culture of Ireland. I am delighted to extend a 'céad míle fáilte' to the 30 awardees who will be visiting us this summer."

Who can apply?

Applicants must be:

- U.S. citizens or naturalized U.S. citizens currently living in the U.S.

- Enrolled in Irish language courses in the U.S. and have completed at least one year or Irish language instruction or teaching the Irish language in the U.S. for more than one year.

- Be able to participate in the program in its entirety (two to six weeks in the Gaeltacht).

Preference will be given to applicants who:

- Are currently enrolled on a for-credit course in a recognized U.S. higher education institution as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

- Have not participated on a Gaeltacht course in Ireland before.      

How to apply:

- Confirm you are eligible.

- Email for an application and reference forms.

- Submit full application by deadline of April 30th, 2013, consisting of application form (all applicants), scanned copy of transcript (student applicants only), CV/resumé (teacher applicants only), and all references must be submitted directly from the referee by the closing deadline (all applicants).

For one American girl’s experience of an Irish Gaeltacht, go to


Fine Gael TD Dinny McGinley with a group of scholarship Irish language